It has been documented that frogs imported into North America (and elsewhere) for the food and pet industries are known carriers of the deadly fungus, chytrid. This fungus has driven over 100 amphibian species to complete extinction worldwide. An unprecedented mass extinction of animals that is directly linked to the activities of humans.
As well as spreading the deadly fungus, bullfrogs are harmful invasive species. Being farmed around the world has allowed them to invade 15 countries, where they eat native frogs and other wildlife - damaging ecosystems.
SAVE THE FROGS! has been working hard, and gaining support on their boycott efforts of Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande restaurants, for their menu item of Bullfrogs. STF! supporters claim that Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande restaurants sell American Bullfrogs farm-raised in China. These “Made In China” bullfrogs are known carriers of a deadly chytrid fungus.
From SAVE THE FROGS!
the problem of frog legs
The worldwide trade in frog legs is massive, and is undoubtedly a significant contributor to the decline and extinction of amphibian populations worldwide. For example, Europeans alone consumed roughly 120 million frogs per year in the 1990’s.
The frog legs trade is problematic whether the frogs are wild-caught or farm-raised. Specifically, the harvest of wild frogs leads to depletion of wild populations, and trade in farm-raised frogs leads to the spread of harmful infectious diseases and invasive species.
The depletion of wild populations
The trade in wild-caught frogs has been driving frog populations to near extinction since the 19th century, when the Californian gold miners decimated populations of California Red-Legged Frogs (Rana draytonii) in the 1800’s. The harvesting of amphibians for the food trade is often unregulated, and in many developing countries (like Indonesia and Thailand) is likely a primary contributor to amphibian declines. India actually banned the export of frog legs in the 1980’s because mosquito populations were increasing as the frog populations declined. The French ate so many of their native frogs that the government had to ban the eating of native frogs, and now France relies on imports from Indonesia and other distant countries. The Goliath Frog (Conraua goliath), the world’s largest frog, is being hunted to near extinction in western Africa.
Read more here at SAVE THE FROGS!
There are also, localized efforts by elected officials on the ban on sales of live frogs and other herps.
Ban on live turtle, frog sales assailed
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Sacramento - Asian American politicians and merchants are seething over a new state ban on the importation of live turtles and frogs for sale as food, saying the policy unfairly targets Chinese businesses while ignoring the pet shop industry.
The California Fish and Game Commission adopted the ban last month to prevent people from releasing nonnative species into the state’s sensitive habitats. But opponents point out that merchants - who hawk fish and other seafood as well as turtles and frogs for people to eat - are already barred from selling the animals alive.
On Tuesday, six Asian American state legislators, including Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and Sen. Leland Yee, both Democrats from San Francisco, sent a letter to the commission asking it to reconsider the policy.
A “disturbing” part of the policy, they wrote, is that it “appears to disproportionately target Asian American owned businesses,” - businesses, they note, that are largely owned and managed by first-generation immigrants.
Ma said frog legs, turtle soup and other dishes are popular at both Chinese restaurants and homes. But the immigrant community is not as politically savvy as other groups, she said.
“These minority markets have had this practice for hundreds of years, and all of a sudden the commission comes up with this policy - I understand the nonnative species concern, but they don’t ban the importation of fish and frogs at pet stores,” she said. “There’s no ban on importing crabs, oysters and lobsters, and clearly you can buy those live and release them into the ocean … I think they just want to pick on the weakest link.”